Smart Devices For AC And Home Automation

Heard the Buzz that a home could turn to “Smart” with advanced automation technology? A device is smart when you control it with remote, smartphone, tablet, desktop, or voice. Wireless technology has undoubtedly brought advancement and convenience from home appliances to the HVAC system.
Homeowners integrate several smart devices with a microprocessor that coordinate the technology of your choice.

Need help getting started? The following products will turn home smart and save energy bills while they are at it.


Thermostat:

Gone are days, when thermostats were just used to turn the temperature up or down. Now, thermostats have become smart and come with many convenient features that anyone can learn to use.
A programmable or Smart Thermostat can adjust the temperature automatically at set durations. Moreover, it can be used wirelessly with a smartphone or tablet. Meaning, homeowners can adjust the temperature from almost anywhere while on work, school, or vacation.  Some high-tech models of smart thermostat have been introduced that learn your behavior patterns and adjust the temperature accordingly.

Smart Water Sensors:

It is great to catch water leaks early on. Therefore, homeowners use smart waters sensors to avoid pipe burst. Though the old-fashioned leak detectors have been blessing for homeowners to detect the problem immediately if any of home inhabitants is around and all ears to the alarm. What if there is no one at home!!
Fortunately, advances in home technology have patched this flaw and introduced smart water sensors. These are battery powered and come with wireless technology, enabling you to connect with speakers and other devices. If these water sensors detect water, they immediately send alert to your connected device (mobile or laptop).

Smart blinds and shades:

You realize it or not, but windows have a significant impact on indoor temperature. How disgusting it feels when air escapes from the loosely sealed window in winters or sun rays bump up the inside temperature on the scorching summers.
Back then, homeowners found the best way to control the amount of heat was by installing the heavy curtains or blinds that most of the time tend to remain in the same position.
But now, for energy-conscious homeowners, automated smart shades and blinds are up for grab.  Smart shades, when connected with a thermostat, allows you to enjoy bigger and better energy savings.

Air Quality monitors:

Air quality monitors are ultra-smart and give a head up regarding the conditions inside your home. These smart gadgets will keep a close eye to the air quality and level of humidity and alert you immediately if anything unusual happens.

Smart home assistants or smart speakers:

Speakers are not just to play music; instead, they have become a central hub for the different smart devices. They let you connect everything from TV’s to sound of your voice to thermostats, bulbs, and AC. Products like Amazon echo and google smart home allow you to have various assistants to keep close track to your scheduling, shopping, and keeps you abreast about other relevant information.

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How to eliminate these 7 common bad smells from home?

Each house has an odour which is a combination of people living there, their perfumes, aftershave, the food they're cooking, and so on. But the bad smell is most offensive and actually possesses different toxins which affect your health badly. Moreover, you would not want your respectable guest to feel it. To avoid such unpleasant smells, you must know the possible ways to eradicate them from your place.


Pets have a smell:

Healthy animals do not have an offensive smell, but unhealthy animals often have. Animals smells can be tough to abolish as they are constantly present at the home. This type of smell can even be embedded in clothes and fabrics. Medical care can be used to resolve pet relating odors.

What causes pet odor:


Malodor is an indication of a health problem.

Ear, mouth, anal area, vulva, or skin are sources of pet odor

Footpads contain glands that in some healthy animals produce a "dog odour."


Cigar/cigarette smell:


Even if you ask someone to smoke outside, the smoke can still enter and stay in the house through open doors. To fix the issue, use a hand towel and pour some white vinegar, after which you wring it out and take the towel and walk through the home, swinging it all in the air.

Fishy Smells:

The most obvious cause of the fishy smell is bringing a fish at home. While the other elements can also carry this annoying odour, generally, the burn of plastic or electrical wires causes a fishy or urine like smell. To prevent this, you must check all wires if they are looking like burnt or melted. Make sure any plastic is far away from the heating sources.

Avoid Musty and Moldy Smells:

The abandoned or damp area in your home where water leaks and moisture builds up can cause a musty smell. Vinegar and water solution works best to clean all the mold on the surface. Having a proper ventilation system within the home can also help you to lessen this specific smell.

Rotten Egg Smell:

Do you sense any smell of a rotten egg? Then you must draw all attention to the gas. This odor may act as an indicator of clogged P-trap. A properly working P-trap does not let the gas to come up the drain. To avoid this situation, you must flow some water at least once within a month.

Keep your Kitchen clean:

You must develop some good kitchen habits such as wiping out the sink after washing dishes, cleaning up spills ASAP, having a trash bowl and taking out the garbage regularly. If your garbage stinks and it is not yet full, you should sprinkle some coffee grinds on it. This will help to eliminate the bad odor.

A foul smell from a bathroom:

To prevent your bathroom from stinking; you must make sure the exhaust fan is working properly. In a severe situation, you should prepare a spray. The spray should contain 2 cups of water with 1 tbsp white vinegar, I tsp. baking soda, and 10 drops of essential oil. Use this spray to eliminate the typical bathroom odours.


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You won't be bothered by bugs this Summer

You are not bothered by the bugs in the outdoors much. Even when you are, you don't really mind it knowing that you are not staying in the outdoors for an entire life. But let's be practical, we all are bothered by the bugs in the outdoor as well as in the indoor. And there are solutions to be at peace in both situations, whether you are enjoying a picnic outside or cherishing with your family in the indoor. This blog, however, is dedicated to some practical, handy and very easy DIY solutions to rid your indoor of bugs. The first is about making a bug fogger while the other about insect repellent. So let's begin.

Bug Fogger and Bug Repellent


DIY Carbon Dioxide Bug Fogger  

- As the Summer begins and the windows are more often opened than closed, go to the nearest store and grab some dry ice. Execute the procedure in the day time and preferably when kids are not at home. Fill a bucket of cold water and place it in whatever area you want to be fogged. The measurement for water and dry ice as per area goes like this;
200 sq feet = 6-10 cups water
200 sq feet = 1 lb dry ice
In case the area is larger than that, make the measurements accordingly by adding 3-5 cups of water for every additional 100 sq feet and 0.5-1 lb dry ice for every additional square foot.

- After placing the water tub in the room to be fogged, close the windows and cover your face properly with a mask. Now add dry ice to the water. It will start to fog, producing concentrated Carbon Dioxide. Place a fan in one corner of the room in order to circulate the fog. Once the procedure begins, leave the room. Give the process 10 minutes to 1 hour in order to let the fog penetrate into all corners completely. Return to the room when the fog has evaporated. If the room appears slightly foggy, open the doors and windows.
This procedure will kill all the bugs hiding anywhere in the room and will abstain the bugs from buzzing in your indoor for a sufficient time period.

DIY Salt Insect Repellent 

You might have observed that most insects are seen on the floor. Primarily for the reason that the floor has some fallen pieces of eatables which the insects need to pick and then drop to their homes made in the room corners. In order to make the floor unsuitable for them to crawl on and give your guests the impression, you don't keep enough cleanliness, make use of your mop. As you mop the floor, add a spoonful of salt in the water. This salt-water mopped floor will repel bugs and insects from crawling on the floor and will eventually repel them from coming to your home since they would know you are not welcoming. 

How often do you feel bothered by bugs and insects and what ways do you use to combat them?


 

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Spring AC tune-up | A practice that returns well

There is one general rule when it comes to appliances, be they HVAC appliances or any other appliances. And the rule is; never use an appliance after a long period of no usage, without giving it a tune-up. Imagine yourself woken up abruptly by someone from a deep sleep. How does it feel like? The appliances feel even worse. And there are clear reasons why this should not be done. As the appliances remain unused, they accumulate dust and debris in their components. Often times, insects or animals (in the case of big appliances) damage the electrical components of the appliance. In some cases, animals or birds make their homes in some components; this usually happens in the case of outdoor appliances like an outdoor AC unit. Turning the unit up abruptly could result in the killing of those innocent living being. So tune- up is a good idea.

When it comes to summer's most important appliance; the Air Conditioner, you have to be concerned even more about its tune-up and equally concerned about the time the tune-up should be given. We suggest that you should give your Air Conditioner a tune-up in spring, preferably in the middle or end of spring. At this time, not only that the professionals are easily available but also your Air Conditioner receives a tune-up of full concentration.
Here are three reasons why Spring tune-up is a practice that returns well:



Saves you from the emergency breakdown 

As an appliance is turned on without giving a tune-up, it is at constant risk of breakdown. So you could expect a bad afternoon or bad late night hours in which your unit will suddenly cease to work. Giving the unit a tune-up well in time ensures worry-free summers. Also, any repair needs are also sufficed well in time.

Better comfort - Lower bills 

A timely AC tune-up offers another benefit and that is of better comfort with yet low energy bills. The unmaintained units have to push harder to operate because of the accumulated dust and debris. The unit when it overworks results in high energy bills. Getting your Air Conditioner tuned up well in time provides with better airflow and lower energy bills.

Eco-friendly aspect 

The eco-friendliness of well-maintained appliances cannot be overlooked. By getting your Air Conditioner tuned up in Spring, the unit is recovered to its best potential condition. As a result, carbon prints are reduced. So while a well in time tune-up benefits you, it benefits the environment as well.

Should you try DIY tune-up? 

As professionals, we suggest not to do DIY tune-up. The reason is; when homeowners perform DIY with HVAC appliances, there's a lot that is left behind. Tune-up is not just about cleaning the exterior or immediate interior of the unit. It also includes lubrication of parts, testing of pressure, refrigerant lines and refrigerant quantity, air vents and other things that are responsible for proper functioning of the system. So while you should prefer performing regular unit cleaning through the season by yourself, we recommend taking professional help when it comes to annual tune-up.

What was the last time you took a professional tune-up service?

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Five Things To Check When You Turn On The Furnace

When outside temperature falls and winter is right around the corner; you must inspect the heating system to ensure it will work effectively throughout the winter. Like any other equipment, a Furnace also requires proper care and maintenance to work efficaciously and safely. The experts recommend foolproof steps to be pursued to ensure the safety of the furnace and comfort of the family.
Read on to know the five most important things you should check before turning on the Furnace in winters.



Registers opening and removal of obstructions:

You must take some time out to check that the vents of every room are open and nothing is impeding the proper flow of air. The major obstructions regarding air flow are rugs, curtains, and furniture. The removal of obstruction and opening registers is the easiest step that keeps the heat to move evenly and smoothly.

Schedule a tune-up:

Experts recommend that tunning up heating system twice a year will keep it functional and efficient for the extended period of time. The fall is undoubtedly perfect timing to ensure that the furnace is in good health and ready for the winter changes. 
A certified professional can assist you regarding the safety of the furnace and a thorough inspection including fixing problems that the furnace may be encountering.

Cleaning the Furnace filter:

The proper cleaning of filters is essential when you turn the furnace on or when you turn it off in summers. A furnace is designed to draw all air from the home. Meantime, the tiny particles including dust particles, pollens, and contaminants will also get curled up with it. Therefore, every furnace is equipped with the filter traps that pushes away all these particles from circulating in the home.
Apart from these filter traps, still the filters of the heating system do not take a month to get clogged with the debris. Once you ignore cleaning or changing the filter after three months, you might see a massive deficiency on the performance of a Furnace. Moreover, cleaning the filters prevent unnecessary odours.

Check the Thermostat:

Thermostat often gets inaccurate as it ages. In case the thermostat is responding slowly, one should repair it right away or install a programmable thermostat. A thermostat that is programmable helps to save money as it turns off automatically whenever the furnace is not in use. A programmable thermostat can save energy up to 9% or more. A wifi thermostat is also up for grab and has become the choice of thousands of individuals since it gives better and more reliable control, rather remote control being wifi supported.  

Testing the CO detector:        


Carbon monoxide is a by-product of improperly burning Furnace gases. The HVAC experts recommend installing a CO detector in order to be on a safer side. And highly recommend that the batteries of the detector be tested on a regular basis. The best time to test the CO detectors is when fall is approaching – these detectors warn the individuals in any event of leakage. In case you are uncertain how to detect these detectors - get the assistance from a pro HVAC expert or local fire department. 

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5 Tips to Save Utility Fees This Winter

A classic war begins every season nearly at each indoor facility regarding temperature increase or decrease. At home, when you get a chance to save the utility bills especially in winters, your kids join the opponent army. Parents want no one to touch the Thermostat and kids want a higher temperature. However, if you are battling with utility bills due to heating appliances in winter, you need these 5 “housewarming” (to make your house warmer actually) tips to help save your money without even touching the thermostat!

1. Annual Furnace Maintenance
The first and foremost tip is to inspect your Furnace every year before winters to increase its efficiency and lifespan. Remember, the more responsible you become towards your Furnace, the less it consumes the energy saving your utility bills up to 40%. Furnace maintenance is as necessary every year as buying warmers for winter. So tuck and roll for the furnaces before winter begins!

2. Rugs and Thick Carpets
This tip is a vintage! We all seem to know about it. When winters approach, fill your home with fluffy rugs to make it warmer than ever as the wood flooring or lamination is not cosy at all. Throw a wall carpeting or throwing big rugs all over the space to save the utility fees plus your life.

3. Heavy Curtains
Not recommending any luxury curtains but good quality thick curtains can provide comfort and warmth of your dream. Simply by hanging curtains on windows or giving your blinds a little drape can prevent heat loss and cold exchange through windows. This technique will help you establish your living space by not moving any furniture and will recover a past heat loss.

4. Insulating Windows and Door

When heavy curtains are not your choice and want natural light around your house, plastic insulation is the answer. A house becomes colder even in presence of a furnace when some loopholes provide a way for the cold to enter the house. For all those problems, invisible plastic insulation, foam seal tape or replacing the door sweep will forbid all the chilly wind entering your house.

5. Loft Insulation

Most of the indoor heat is lost through the roof or ceiling. All you can do to save your utility bills during winter is insulating your attic. The loft insulation may shake a little of your budget but it stays there and is effective for more than 35 years and that’s a quite good shot. Once you get loft insulation, it can decrease utility bills up to 20-25%. Voila!

These 5 tips can make your house warmer, comfortable and cosier than ever and the added benefit of cutting down utility bills make these worth trying. By keeping your Thermostat low by employing the above-mentioned tips, you can catch the reward and by maintaining your Furnace on the very first hand will keep you in harmony and peace for the whole year. Now, what are you waiting for?

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Three HVAC matters you need to address seriously

When it comes to HVAC issues, there's a long list. But then there are some issues that are commonly discussed and others that are not given as much importance as others. While we have already talked enough about the commonly discussed HVAC matters, this blog is dedicated to discussing uncommonly discussed HVAC issues that are, interestingly, in their nature, very important and have the potential to leave significant impacts on comfort. Let's begin:


Only the right only size means the right comfort 

Comfort does not come handy by purchasing appliances. It comes by purchasing the right appliances. And the right appliances are bought when the necessary thought process and professional consultation precedes the purchase. Sizing is one of the few decisive factors for comfort. Choosing a larger than needed size, you will choose for your system to trip frequently, which will result in temperature difference in the indoor. Contrarily, choosing a smaller than the needed system is synonymous with asking the system to constantly work as long as the entire indoor does not get enough cool/warm. Constant operation then results in faster wearing out and frequent repairs. The principle of right-sizing applies to IAQ appliances as well. So the next time, you are out to purchase a Furnace, Air Conditioner, Humidifier, Air Cleaner or any other whole home appliance, make sure it is the right size.


The outdoor unit could be at a direct risk of damage 

The outdoor HVAC units need care not just in peak seasons but also in off-peak seasons or you can say, throughout the year. While in peak season, it is important to keep the unit clean and in off-peak season, to cover it, it is also important to protect the unit from the possible damages of storms and lightning. While storms can bang random things into the unit, the lightning can actually cause a fire with all sorts of shrubs and bushes grown around the unit. To provide for yourself, a complete package of protection, consider surrounding the unit with a barrier and keep the grass trimmed around the unit. Doing so will also help protect the unit from animals and environmental mess.


The unit may be the right size and still not enough  

The sizing of the unit is considered with the area under consideration. But even the finest equation can go wrong when the weather wants to go high and low on the swing of the temperature scale. This can result in Furnace becoming apparently inefficient in winter by not providing enough humidity and causing discomfort. And AC becoming inefficient by not dehumidifying enough and leaving enough warmth in the indoor. In these cases, whole-home Humidifier/Dehumidifiers can be the best choice to consider. With sufficient humidity maintained, the systems will not only work with an optimal performance, but the indoor comfort will also be maintained easily.

Have you considered these HVAC matters before? If yes, how have they benefited you? Also, is there a special HVAC ritual of your own?

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